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Arundel House of Hope

Responding to the needs of the community.

Through comprehensive services, Arundel House of Hope supports neighbors and community members who struggle with homelessness.  Giant Food has supported this nonprofit organization through its Community Bag Program.

Tell us about Arundel House of Hope.

Arundel House of Hope started with the goal of helping people experiencing homelessness in Anne Arundel County. In 1992, one of our local faith leaders called for a meeting with other religious leaders in the community to talk about homelessness. When they arrived, he said, “I brought you here under false pretenses. We’re not here to talk about homelessness. We’re here to do something about it.”

Through this initial partnership of different faith communities, the Arundel House of Hope was founded with the mission of ending homelessness. We provide support services as well as emergency, transitional, and permanent housing.

What services do you provide to the community?

Our most well-known service is the Winter Relief program. This is a temporary shelter program that operates every winter from October to March. Different organizations, most of which are churches, rotate hosting the program. Each organization hosts for one whole week, and we coordinate this effort. We also have another emergency service called the Warming Center. Through a partnership with the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management, we provide another safe space for people who are unsheltered when it’s cold at night.

All Winter Relief clients are greeted with warm smiles. 

In addition to these emergency services, we have several transitional housing programs. Clients stay in our transitional housing for anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years. These housing programs provide intense support services. We have programs focused on serving men, Veterans, and one for families. These transitional programs are all recovery-based.

We also have permanent supportive housing, meaning individuals can live there as long as they want. In these programs, they get access to case management, but it’s not as intensive as transitional housing.

Outside of housing services, we offer a range of support through our day center. People who are unsheltered can come here to get some of their physical needs met. At the day center, they can wash their clothes, take a shower, get a bagged lunch, and access case management support. This is also a great place for anyone on the brink of homelessness to get information on available support.

At the day center, they can wash their clothes, take a shower, get a bagged lunch, and access case management support.

We also have the Community Recovery Center, another support service providing a safe space to meet. We host meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, and work to improve skills. This is important for people in recovery because addiction can be a huge barrier to housing stability and self-sufficiency. Finally, we have a program called Micah 6 that provides practical support and encouragement to people who are newly rehoused after experiencing homelessness.

Volunteers prepare food for Winter Relief clients. 

What sets Arundel House of Hope apart from other nonprofits in your community?

There are other nonprofits in our county that also offer homelessness services. Each of us has our niche, which we then bring together to fight the issue in our community.

The comprehensive nature of our organization is what sets Arundel House of Hope apart. We have a broad spectrum of services that covers emergency, transitional, and permanent housing needs. Of course, not everyone needs every step of that process, but those options are available for those who do.

The comprehensive nature of our organization is what sets Arundel House of Hope apart.

Tell us a story that illustrates the good work of your organization.

We have had a lot of success with the Fouse Center, our transitional housing program for men. Clients come in and often stay for six months to a year. During that time, the men focus on making and achieving their goals.

Through this program, we have even had clients become staff members and helped others improve their employment. For example, our bus driver who transports our Winter Relief clients to the various churches is a client. Now, he is working on becoming a truck driver. We expect him to graduate from his current program and find increased stability through his career choices.

We also have a program for single women with children. Many of these women leave the program with better credit scores and savings. Through this, they are able to independently maintain their own housing.

A volunteer ensures the shower trailer stays in good condition for clients.

What is your most outstanding achievement or contribution to the community?

I am most proud of our ability to respond to the needs of the community. We see what the community needs and respond with support services. For example, though it’s not currently in operation, we had a food truck social enterprise where we helped people improve their career skills. We also had programs specifically focused on literacy.

We see what the community needs and respond with support services.

We’re still figuring out whether we will bring these programs back post-pandemic, but seeing the increased need for other services both during and after the pandemic, I am proud that we were able to shift gears to provide the services our community needed most.

What do you want people to know about Arundel House of Hope?

Since we live in a pretty affluent area, it’s easy for people to forget our neighbors and community members struggle with homelessness. Homelessness is often invisible. I want people to know that we are here, and we’ve been doing this work for a long time because there is a need.

Homelessness is often invisible.

How will you use funds you’ve received from the Giant Food Community Bag Program?

This partnership was so fun and unexpected. The money will go to support our Winter Relief and Warming Center needs. In addition to safe shelter and space, the people benefitting from these programs need snacks, warm drinks, and blankets. This funding will help us provide these items.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

We rely on support from our partners, including the county and various local organizations, to address homelessness in the community. We are thankful for all their help!

Interview with Dawn Baskin, Community Engagement Associate

Published March 28, 2024.